South African mobile group MTN has reiterated its intent to enter the Iranian market by opening a corporate office in the country’s capital, Tehran. Ostensibly, the group says it is preparing for its participation in the forthcoming award of a third mobile licence in the country, but it is thought that the company is standing by in the event that Turkish operator Turkcell withdraws its investment in start-up second cellco Irancell. Turkcell is currently waiting on a decision by Iran’s Council of Guardians to clarify the terms and conditions of a revised foreign direct investment (FDI) bill which will govern its participation in Irancell. If the Turkish company formally rejects the decision, the government has indicated that it will re-run the tender, rather than re-enter into talks with MTN, which was runner-up to Turkcell the first time round. However, MTN’s Iran country manager Chris Kilowan is on record as saying that the operator is ‘prepared to re-adjust’ to comply with Iran’s new FDI legislation and remains hopeful that his company could yet get Turkcell’s licence without having to go to auction.